Thursday, 25 December 2008

Yearning for.....


'Christmas Bells'

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The Carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;
‘For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!’

Longfellow

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Howdy y'all????

Naina came back from her Christmas party at School, very thrilled. She got an Animal Farm from her class teacher, as a Christmas present. As she set it up on the table she was asking me the name of animals she was not able to figure out. The familiar ones I readily answered & there was this 1 animal I was trying to decide whether it looked like a Fox or a Wolf, when she suggested that it could be a Kaiody….

I was like "It could be a ....what????”

“A Ky-o-ty” stressed the syllables Naina.

I was puzzled & looked at the animal more closely and then it flashed………Oh she means a Coyote & close behind flashed another thought..........where in the world did she learn the word Coyote let alone pronounce the word correctly, at 5 yrs of age.

If I can recall correctly, I myself heard this word for the 1st time sometime when I was 12-13 yrs old & for another 4-5 yrs went around pronouncing it as “Koe-yotae”.

I looked at her awed & rushed into speech trying to impress her with my American accent “You know, I think you gaad it right….….it sure looks like a ky-odi from this side ah taaown."

Monday, 15 December 2008

The Unwanted Third

This happened almost 2 years back. I was on my way back home from work & almost reached my door when my next-door neighbour opened her door & beckoned me in. I was tired & was about to tell I’ll meet her later when I caught sight of her tensed expression. I walked in thru her door without hesitating.

Maria & I had been neighbours for around 5 yrs then. Like me, she was also working & had 2 girls. We were good neighbours though not friends as such. That day for some reason she decided to confide in me. She had just found out that she was pregnant for the 3rd time. And it was not planned.

She looked shattered. Her youngest was just going to be 2 years old. She didn’t want another child. There was no question of keeping it. The financial situation didn’t allow it. She couldn’t manage another child. She’ll have to go to India to get the job done because UAE didn’t believe in abortions. Technically it wasn’t an abortion was it because there was another 4-5 weeks to go before the heart started beating. She asked me whether I knew anybody who was coming back from India so as to ask them to bring the required medication to terminate it in the early stages itself. She just kept talking frenetically discussing various options without really expecting an answer.

I stood there feeling terribly sorry for her. I couldn’t really get angry with her or blame her at that point. I understood her viewpoint very well. They were living in a shared accommodation[where 2 or more families shared apartments because that was the only way they could afford to live in Dubai]. Unlike us, both their salaries were needed for their household to run. As it is, bringing up 2 children in Dubai was no joke. Simply put, they had no spare time, space or money for another child.

Two days later I met her at the bus-stop when I went to drop the kids. She told me in hushed tones that her husband & their respectively families were totally against the termination idea cause it went against the religious faith. And they kept telling her that it was God’s Will & it would be a BOY this time. Boy or Girl, I don’t want another one, she said fiercely.

Everyday I would find her climbing up & down the stairs for the flimsiest of reasons, she deliberately carried her children & other heavy weights, ate a lot of dates & don’t ask what else in the hope that it would terminate by itself. And I don’t think she went to the doctor even for the 1st 3-4 months. How are we going to manage she would worry always.

I tried to calm her down but I doubt whatever I said even registered in her mind. Seeing her situation for what it was, my reassurances sounded hollow even to my own ears.

She looked more wretched than ever as the months passed & her body filled out. She apathetically accepted the pregnancy & though she never told me directly I could make out that she hoped it would be a boy atleast. I was thinking inside that she should go on her knees and pray for a ‘normal’ child considering the early battering she had submitted her unborn baby to.

The nine months passed slowly. And it was another girl. A tiny little scrap, underweight, with neither her siblings’ fair complexion nor any other admirable feature to speak of. The older children were thrilled whereas the parents hiding their disappointment accepted it stoically.

And months passed. Initially I made 2-3 visits to see them, but after Maria rejoined work, we saw each other less frequently.

Then one day the kids & I went across to their flat to visit. The kids immediately went off to their corner to play leaving the mother, child & me alone. The baby now around 6-7 months old was playing in her mother’s lap. She was looking healthier & upon seeing me her face lit up with a beautiful smile transforming the face. I smiled & held out my arms. She came readily & sat placidly in my lap. Seeing my surprised & pleased expression, Maria told me with pride that the child was quiet, friendly & very accommodating. She woke up just once at night, had her feed & went back to sleep. Comparing this child & the difficult times she had with the elder two, she & I lightheartedly traded horror stories about the kids.

And suddenly she just burst out “Godddd, Nancy when I think of what all I tried to do initially, I just feel terrible. I’ve been on my knees many a time asking the Lord to forgive me.”

“You know what, we have found a 2 bedroom flat within our budget & are planning to vacate this flat in 2 months time. I actually thought things were going to get difficult after her birth but somehow for the 1st time in life, everything seems to be falling into place. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that it was meant to be.” she said in wonder.

I handed her baby back to her & she hugged her close unconsciously. The baby looked at me & beamed. Blinking away the tears which threatened to cloud my vision, I blew her a kiss.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Cough, Cough, ahem...

The weather getting pretty cold, I’ve been coughing for a week now & my voice sounds like sandpaper being rubbed against the wall. Now my throat is aching big time. It has finally dawned on me that I’ll pretty much be coughing thru next week also if I didn’t visit a doctor soon

If it hasn’t clicked to you by now why I havent seen a doctor yet ….let me elaborate…I hate them all..Hospitals, Clinics, doctors, nurses, injections, stitches, THE WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!

It all started at the tender age of 7 when an evil looking doc holding a deadly looking injection advanced towards me while I sat in the dentists chair horribly cornered. He in a sudden movement stabbed the needle into my exposed gum[forcibily exposed by the nurse who had me in a death grip]. I jerked back in terror leaving half the needle in my gum & the other half in his hand. I still recall the shocked look on his face while he tried to assimilate how a routine jab went dreadfully awry. I’m willing to bet that for the next few months he would have hesitated everytime he leaned forward to inject another victim.

And before you ask, infact don’t ask………just don’t just ask how I went thru the deliveries. I have blanked them out of my mind. I vaguely remember being dragged into the hospital in the middle of the night, kicking & screaming…..cut….. next thing I know there’s a tiny bundled up red faced kiddo looking hopefully at me for breakfast.

As usual I have wandered off the topic……I was talking about how my throat & voice have suffered the torture of dry racking cough which leaves me tired & drained out. I hope I don’t sound too vain when I say that my voice is one claim to fame.

My voice is not the typically feminine type, a bit deep and coupled with the fact that I can talk & argue in the Queens Language fluently, fills me with an inflated sense of my own importance.

An Indian will recognize me as another Indian but will be hard pressed to make out which state I’m from. A Malayalee(from Kerala for Agnes information) brought up in Bangalore, I don’t have the typical Malayalee accent & sometimes amuse myself confusing others from my native place. I pursued English Literature upto the postgraduate level but that I feel didn’t help much except for the fact that I learnt the names of some poets & to write the same sentence in 10 different ways to make my essays look longer.

I worked till last month as an administrative staff in an Interior decoration Company. Whenever there was a crisis & if it could be handled by phone I was always the one my boss dropped it on.

*When the Client deferred on their payments I would demand to speak to their Manager.

*When we defaulted on our payments to the subcontractors I would apologize handsomely & would get a week’s breathing space to pay them.

*When there was a problem at the site the Client would especially ask for me by name & would pour their woes to me. Never mind the fact I cannot make out the difference between Bird Eye Maple & Sapeley Mapeley myself if it strolled past me(they are both different types of wood, for the totally ignorant)……I would be suitably indignant on their behalf & promise to look into the matter immediately.

With a westernised name like mine & a voice like……like somebody important, nobody ever asked me what my position in the Company was.

Just once or twice some people made the effort to meet me in person & boy you should have seen the bewildered expression on their faces. Totally letdown, they made valiant efforts to hide it. Obviously the ….ummm…..well-built physique didn’t quite match upto the remarkable voice & speech.

And just where is this one-sided monologue leading you might be tempted to ask & I hasten to let you know that I have no clue. I started this post with the intention of getting you to sympathize with my throat condition & urge me on my way to the doc.

Friday, 5 December 2008

A quick study

Ok I’ve changed my mind………..I want the Better-Half back from his official trip as soon as possible. 2 days alone with my kids & I am climbing the walls. We’ve clashed big time & we are still clashing. The only thing all 3 of us unanimously say a dozen times a day at different points in time is “Just wait till Papa comes back”.
***

I got up this morning & lovingly watched them sleep, never failing to be amazed at how big they’ve grown. It seems like just a year back they were itty-bitty babies in their baby-cot.

Ping!!! The elder one’s eyes open suddenly and catches me watching her. She lazily stretches her arms upwards, smiles lovingly at me & demands “What’s for breakfast????”

Sighhhh…..whatever happened to “Good Morning Mama!!!”

After breakfast I force-march them to their study table. Since they succumbed to a bout of flu they missed 1 week of school & so it was important they catch up with the portions.

“Ok after 1 page of multiplication, you’ll give us 1 hour rest & we’ll watch TV” negotiates Nikita.

Not to be outdone by elder sister the younger one adds “After my 1 page cursive writing “U & V” u must give us the Chocolates you have hidden in the blue tin on the top most shelf of the white cupboard.”

I stare disbelievingly at her “How did you know…..?????”

“We know everything Mama” butts in Nikita impatiently.

I refused to rise to the challenge, instead concentrated on their books & gave them both some work to do.

I slowly edge towards the laptop anticipating atleast 20 minutes of free time to check my messages.

Within 10 minutes Nikita has got terrible neck pain which refuses to go away & Naina insists that her ‘tiny’ fingers cannot take the strain anymore.

I patiently massage Nikita’s neck & back & flex Naina’s fingers to ease the sudden unexpected strain.

After 10 minutes, the pain comes back.

My patience wearing thin, I sardonically ask them how is that the neck ache & finger pain doesn't make their appearance whenever they are playing their war-style games.

Nikita looks at me surprised “Thats because we are busy having fun then”.

Silenced for the moment, I take another track “If you don’t study, when you grow big you will be like Sindhu Aunty(the maid), working in other people’s houses, looking after their children, washing vessels, hanging clothes on the terrace & cooking food”.

Both look at me wide-eyed & silent. Feeling a little guilty, I quickly change the topic & continue teaching them.

I give them some more exercises to do & get back to wondering what my next blog post is going to be about.

After five minutes….

“Mama, if I don’t study well, can I also work like her????”

“Like who????” I ask absently.

“Like Sindhu Aunty. I love to play with small children.”

Alarmed I stare at my elder daughter who is very seriously asking the question & then at her sister hopefully watching me.

Ohmigosh….my progeny were actually considering a future as domestic help.

I carefully weighed my words. One wrong move could destroy my childrens’ future.

“Yes ofcourse you can work like Sindhu Aunty, if you don’t study. You will have to look after small children……change their pampers, wash their bum after they do potty & clean up the floor after they vomit.”

They look at me horror-struck…

And I cruelly drive the point home “Small children do potty atleast 6 times EVERYDAY”.

Just then the doorbell rang & I went to keep away the stuff the home delivery boy had brought.

When I returned from the kitchen, I saw my two little angels studiously scrawling into their notebooks.

***

Nancy grins wickedly!!!!!!!!!!!

And proceeds to write her next post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 1 December 2008

Feel at Home

Before I get on with this post…I want to apologise for the language I used in my last post. The fact that I was angry & shattered is no excuse. I can't swear that I'll never do it again but definitely promise to exercise more restraint.

It’s been more than a year since I started blogging & you have to tell me if you find this post any different from the others. You see, this is the first time I’m writing a post from home. Yesterday was my last day at work.

And I’m not comfortable at all. The chair is not comfortable(I’ve borrowed a chair from the dining table coz the kids have rendered the chair at the computer table completely useless), the computer table is not wide enough like my office table & the worst of it is that I’m using the laptop after a long time. At office I had lovely, cushy executive chair, my all encompassing table & a proper huge computer with a very flexible mouse.

And the best part was, if I placed lots of box files haphazardly on my table, looked suitably stressed out & hit the keys on the computer hard, nobody dared to bother me. Here at home, every 2 minutes a head stealthily peeps over my shoulder, reads loudly what I write & flits out of my way before I get my hands on the busybody(yeah both the kids are at home recuperating from a bout of flu).

I had already told my maid 2 months earlier about my plans to quit. I didn’t see the need to keep her once I was going to stay at home. After all I had managed the house alone before also. Anyways, even when she was around I used to do most of the cooking? Why should I waste money when I can do it all by myself.

I gave her an extra month’s salary coz somewhere I felt vaguely guilty that I was depriving her of a roof over her head. My previous maid had cried buckets before she left(she went back to India) but this one went off quite happily leaving me to wonder whether I was an employer she was glad to get rid of.

Anyways after dinner & prayer I floated off to sleep happily…

This morning I crashed back to earth…

My first realization........nobody was going to clean up before or after me….there were no clean, peeled veggies chopped, waiting for me to just cook them & horrors of horrors I had to wash up after I finish the cooking. The dishes actually piled up in the sink if I just left them. After half an hour I went back & peeked….yep they were still there, looking messier than ever.

I started questioned things & routines which I always took for granted. Did we really need to eat 3 times a day? Once a day was good enough, even two times didn’t seem so bad. And couldn’t we all eat in the same plate…well the Arabs do it, why cant we???

I dropped a bowl of curry on my spotless kitchen floor & my fingers immediately did a complicated wriggle in the air…….after 20 secs I realized it was Ctrl Z.
Nope it didn’t work.

The kids were not very happy with me either. Well, cant blame them….my TV viewing was eating into their TV time. They had to eat all the GREEN vegetables on their plate & were forcibly made to take a nap after lunch which again cut into their play time.

By the end of the day they were trying to convince me ….."Mama, why dont you just go back to work??? You can come back every evening, you know"

I have taken around 5 hours to put up a post which used to take me just 45-60 minutes earlier. And, like in the office I've been multi-tasking here too...My fingers are flying over the keyboard, my ears are attuned to the news on TV, there's one kid in the loo yelling for my assistance & I can smell something burning in the kitchen.

Ok, have to rush...........

p.s: There's bad news............the kids have hols for 12 WHOLE days starting tomorrow.

p.p.s: But the good news is...............the Better Half is going on a business trip tomorrow.

The kids & me, we are going to live on junk..........

Nancy gets up & leaves the room humming "Maggi, Maggi, Maggi.........."

Thursday, 27 November 2008

I try.....

I try....I try my level best to keep this blog free of negative emotions.....consciously prefering to focus on the basics, the mundane, the humourous side to life but how can I possibly ignore the devastation which has struck my Country.

Everytime, every single time when a bomb goes off somewhere, when people are terrorized I want to ask the perpetrator……


Dear Fellow Human Being,

What makes you the way you are????

What kind of childhood did u have? Did your mother abandon u???

Did your father beat you up?? Did your Uncle molest you?

Did your friends make fun of you??????

Did you have a problem getting a job???

Did the girl you wanted to marry refuse you??????

What kind of satisfaction do you get killing your own kind????

What are you hoping to achieve????

What is it that drives you that you are prepared to give your life up for your ‘cause’???

Who is feeding you nonsense about a MAKE-BELIEVE world where you & your children will rule????


What is your bloody, pathetic

EXCUSE dammit????????


This makes Five

I'm on a roll here. Just picked up another Pretty Award from Agnes......

I would like to award this to my Good Friend Manu[who has read all my posts but commented for the 1st time just last week] & a few fellow bloggers whom I have had the pleasure of meeting after my Commentophobia post:






Since Agnes hadn't put up any specific rules for the Award, I''ll take the liberty here:

Display the Award in your page
Award them to your favourite commentators.
Ask them to forward it to their favourite commentators.
And dont forget to link their page to their names.

Go ahead, spread the cheer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
_____________________________________________________
Edited to add: Just found out about the Mumbai attacks. My heart goes out to the families & friends of the people who lost their lives.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

I've got 4 of them now

"I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either." -- Jack Benny, famous Radio & Film Personality

The above quote sort of sums up what I feel now but I can't deny the sheer joy of receiving Awards. When I go to some of the sites of the oldtimers, they have so many of these "Honest Blogger Award, Cutest Blogger Award, Foggiest blogger Award........" displayed very proudly & I always spend some time examining them.

In a year or two I will attempt some changes in my page layout wherein I'll make it 3 column page & fill the left side of my page with only Awards.

In the meantime I patiently wait for my blogger-friends to award them to me.

The 2nd reason why I love receiving Awards is to grandly award them to my set of blogger-friends. I sort of feel like Julia Morley announcing the Miss World Contest winners.

Now before I start sounding like one of those awardee's who embarrass the audience by talking too much on stage.....

Here goes.........

I have received the Butterfly Award from Lan & Winnie

And the award goes to .....



Deeplydip: For 'Styalogue'

Goofy Mumma: For 'Quack Rites'


JP Joshi: For 'My Philosophical Thoughts'



Shalom: For your Photo-Blog

Winnie The Poohi: For your Poetry blog:-)

The Rules are:

1. Put the logo on your blog.

2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.

3. Nominate 10 other blogs.

4. Add links to those blogs on yours.

5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.
___________________________________________

I also received this Proximity Award from Winnie

There is a clear-cut message which accompanies this Award:

"This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY- nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers I'm passing it on to these wonderful bloggers:"

It is to be passed to 8 other bloggers for the sentiments above.
And they are....


Balvinder Singh: For Frankly Speaking Blog


Renu: For your Rasoi:-)





It's been a long post in the sense that it took me ages to link everybody up. So I am not exactly in a stable state to whip up a brilliant conclusion. And since I began my post with a quote, I take your leave with one too.....

“To those of you who received honours, awards and distinctions, I say Well Done. And to the C students I say, YOU too can be President of United States." George W Bush, 43rd US president since 2001.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Commentophobia

Every once in a while I find myself blog surfing. The sheer volume of content on a wide range of topics just makes my mind boggle.

Some blogs are awe-inspiring…..these bloggers’ feel so strongly about relevant issues of our times and spare no efforts to spread the awareness. Their posts tear into my insides & question my contribution to Society. They make me feel truly insignificant & guilty in turn. I just lack the guts to comment on their posts afraid I’ll make a fool of myself with my lack of knowledge.
I quietly add their link to Google Reader and visit them time to time updating myself of the subject & reading in awe the different views of commentators.

Then there are a few bloggers who attack one’s senses with their power over the English language. Their knack of twisting & contorting words to create a life-like scenario on their page is mind-blowing. They turn a simple everyday incident in their life into a rib-tickling riotous read which all of us can identify with. I read, I laugh, I wipe the tears off from my eyes but find myself dawdling in the comments section…..my fingers just don’t find the words to communicate that I found the post brilliant.

“This post is awesome” will make me sound like I’m gushing, like one of those teenagers who use the word 3 times in every sentence.

“Good post” may sound like I’m patronizing the blogger. Or maybe I’ll even come across as a bloggee who wants to generate some life into her comment box & so, is simply going around copying & pasting the same comment everywhere.

The straw which breaks the camel’s back is the 43 scintillating comments before mine, all so beautifully contributing & complimenting the post. I admit defeat & quietly exit the page without further ado.

But lately I have realized a few things. Long back I had watched an interview conducted on TV wherein the interviewer complimented a beautiful actress & then said depreciatingly that she must be hearing it a 100 times everyday. She laughed gracefully & said “That’s one thing we people in the limelight never tire of hearing”.

The way I see it the same logic applies here also. Each post put up for the world to see is precious in the eyes of the blogger. Any comment no matter how short, is appreciated by the blogger. These comments act as a boost & do wonders to their confidence. You do not have to agree with whatever is written there & can present a different viewpoint. Any blogger worth his salt will appreciate it.

Yes, there are many blog posts which don’t invoke any feeling inside you maybe because you can’t relate with it at all. But for every 1 post like that there are 3 others which do, but you don’t comment simply because of some block in your mind which in actuality doesn’t exist at all.

Take it from me.....the first comment is always the hardest. It gets easier after that.

p.s: This post is especially directed at all my fellow-bloggers who come via Google Reader or feeder from India, Norway, Japan, South-Asia Pacific, USA & Canada but leave without a word. Come on People, I'd love to hear from you:-).

p.p.s: The post is also targeted at my ‘close’ family & friends who will discuss at length the subjects in my blog through the phone or around the dining table but hesitate to put it in writing.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Uncommon Courtesy

Some of us poke fun at people who are oddly dressed.

Some others laugh openly when somebody trips & falls.

Many of us are quick to ridicule when we hear a person mispronouncing a word.

So many of us pretend not to see the old lady or the pregnant woman who enters the bus & looks hopefully around for a vacant seat to rest her tired legs.

A few of us reply brusquely "I dont know" to a passerby who is lost & looking for directions.

And almost all of us who drive, have at 1 point or the other refused to give way to a vehicle who wants to enter the lane in front of us.

The reasons and excuses for this unforgivable behaviour are many.......
"Well she was looking funny",
"He deserved it",
"She thinks no end of her self"
"Even I am tired, let somebody else give up their seat",
"Why should I bother?"
"Even I am in a hurry & he was acting too smart"

It is very unfortunate that we find it very difficult to maintain even basic courtesy. How much time do you lose if you do a simple act of kindness? So many times we do a kind deed as an afterthought but that feeling of well-being lasts the entire day.

If only we took a moment to put another persons needs before ours, if we took a minute to dwell on the consequences before we acted........I am prepared to swear, our world would be a far better place to live in than what it is now.

A wonderful story comes from 19th Century England. According to the account, Queen Victoria was once at a diplomatic reception in London. The guest of honor was an African Chieftain.

All went well during the meal until, at the end, finger bowls were served. The guest of honor had never seen a British finger bowl, and no one had thought to brief him beforehand about its purpose. So he took the bowl in his two hands, lifted it to his mouth, and drank its contents down.

For an instant there was breathless silence among the British privileged guests, and then they began to whisper to one another. All that stopped, however, when Queen Victoria silently took her finger bowl in her two hands, lifted it, and drank its contents.

A moment later, 500 surprised British ladies and gentlemen simultaneously drank the contents of their own finger bowls.

It was the queen's uncommon courtesy that guarded her guest from a certain embarrassment.

"Knowledge, ability, experience are of little avail in reaching high success if courtesy be lacking," says George D. Powers.
"Courtesy is the one passport that will be accepted without question in every land, in every office, in every home, in every heart in the world. For nothing commends itself so well as kindness; and courtesy is kindness."

I hope I dont sound too holier-than-thou when I say that....

I have 'almost' always given my seat to anybody who I thought deserved it:-P.

I have always given directions to anybody who has asked me & if I didnt know I asked somebody else till I helped them on their way.

And I never liked watching shows like "MTV bakra" or "Candid Camera" where they make a living out of making a fool of ordinary people. Yes I know sometimes it is funny but most times its more embarrassing.

But I have to admit I have been guilty of hiding behind doors & startling the kids and I also just hate to oblige when cars appear out of nowhere & expect to be given way :-/.

What about U???????????

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Pale into insignificance

When I watch an ant laboriously carrying a grain across an endless stretch….

When I glimpse an aeroplane disappearing into the vast expanse….

When I see a tiny tot painstakingly scrawling in a notebook….

When I spy a buzzing bee hovering over a fat rosebud….

When I witness the culmination of a golden sunset...

When I kneel in front of God….

…..

…..

I am more aware of my insignificance than ever.

***

Do U ever feel like this???

Thursday, 6 November 2008

At The Beach

Two days back Nikita[7 yrs] came back from school with a certificate which stated that she came 3rd in a drawing competition. I was surprised, though not by the movement of an eyelid did I show it.

I came to terms with it years ago that I didn’t have a single creative bone in my body & neither has my better-half shown any impressions of it in these 10 yrs, so suffice to say art & its vagaries take a backseat in our abode. The kids’ ofcourse let their creativity loose once in a while but nothing in their artistic visualizations ever led us to believe they were anything but our children.

I hugged Nikita in excitement & asked to see the picture but she said that it was hung on the school notice board & so she couldn’t bring it back. She then very helpfully reminded me of a picture she had made subjected “At the Beach”, which was supposed to be exxxxactly the same.

I have this box file where I carefully file away all their creative outbursts not for anything else but just so that they can see their childhood efforts when they are older. The picture was there & I have scanned it & put it here so that you can relate to the conversation we had when she showed me this drawing 2 weeks back.

















The conversation & whatever I remember of it……

Mama: Nikita, this is really good….especially the yellow & blue combination.

Nikita: Really Mama????

Mama: Yes it’s beautiful but what is that blue square in the middle of the beach?

“That is the beach-towel. You know…..we can rest on it & look at the water” explained Nikita very kindly.

Mama: Ok and what is that cat’s face doing near the water? Where is the body?

Nikita: uff-oh Mama that is a crab.

Mama: Aah ok now I can make out. Why is there only 1 fish in the sea?

Nikita(turning & looking at Naina in despair): This mama doesn’t know anything……..(then looking at me)that is not a fish, it is a big dolphin. The rest of the fish are swimming underneath, that’s why you can’t see them.

Mama(looking suitably foolish): Ok then, what are that balloon & kite doing above the water?? Are the fish flying them???

Nikita(in exasperation): Mama!!!!! Fish don’t have hands, somebody let go of their balloon by mistake & so it is floating in the air.

Mama: ooooooohhhh ok. Then what about the balloon & kite on the land? Are they also floating???

Nikita: ohh that, teacher said there was no need to draw any people. So that’s why. But actually people are supposed to be holding them.

Mama: Hmmmmm…….then why have you drawn that tiny cartoon figure there, near that sandcastle???

Nikita(looking affronted): That is Me!!!!!! Can’t you make out????

Mama: Ooooohhh now I know why she is looking so familiar.

Nikita looks closely into my face to see if I was pulling her leg.

Keeping a straight face I quickly ask “And what is that wheel-like thing at the corner of the page”

“oh thatt, my bus friend* gave it to me, I wanted to add it somewhere, soo…..” she tailed off.

“So you cut it out & pasted it…….very sweet of you to do it” I appreciated her.
“So you drew this same picture for the drawing competition”????

“Yes, exxxxxxactly the same except that I coloured the whole beach ORANGE

WHATTTT?????? asked Mama aghast at the color combination.

“Yes, coz my yellow color pencil was missing” answered Nikita casually.

Huhh!!!!!! I was still groping for words when the sisters left the room to pursue other activities.

Anyways, the Certificate is proudly displayed in the living room, a tribute to the budding artist in our family

p.s: This whole incident reminded me of another of Nikita’s drawing’s I had put up here in the beginning of the year.

*Bus friend: Friend from the school bus

Monday, 3 November 2008

Fishing for compliments

The kids & I went grocery shopping last week when I entered a plant shop next door which had these short “Lucky Bamboo” tied together displayed prominently. Up close I realized they had yellowed a bit & didn’t look all that great.

This shop also displayed huge tanks full of colorful fish in all shapes & sizes which my kids had made a beeline for. I watched their excitement indulgently. Infact I myself was entranced by the sight of vibrant fish swimming merrily, darting in & out of the lush underwater foliage.

“Mama let’s take some home” said Nikita, tugging at my hand excitedly. It sunk in too late that I had dangerous situation in my hands. To say that I had a hard time getting both of them out of the shop was an understatement.

The whole of that week Nikita asked us everyday to get her fish. She promised she’ll give up chocolates forever, will not ask for any more toys, will study well….will do whatever we ask her to…………

…….but please, please get me 3 fishes………

……..ok atleast 2 pleaasssssee

………ok fine just one…a tiny fishiee, pleeease, please, please mama…you are the goodest mama in the whole wide world knowwwww”

Did you know in the olden days in China the prisoners used to be tortured in a particular way? It was famously called the Chinese Torture. Cold water was dripped slowly on to the victim's forehead. Prisoners could see each drop coming, and after long durations were gradually driven frantic as an increasing hollow would form in the centre of the forehead."

My elder daughter has perfected her own version of this torture. Day in & day out she will go on & on & on & on till one just wants to dig a deep hole right underneath, jump in & push the carpet over the head & sit there in peace in the darkness for sometime.

Before you ask me, yes we gently explain all the reasons why we can’t get it immediately. She listens attentively & five minutes later “So we can go get the fish tomorrow, right???”.

Then we try various other tones & she will look glum, crushed & wretched in turn. But again 10 minutes later she’ll act like the previous conversation never took place and “Just one tiny fish pleeeeaaaaaseeee”

Finally the weekend arrived & all 4 of us trooped into the shop. We decided to pick a typical glass bowl with 1 goldfish & the amenities which came along with it. We told the kids to take a walk around, take their time & choose the ONE fish they wanted. I left the better-half discussing various options & prices with the salesman & joined the kids to check out all the different types of fish.

The kids ofcourse wanted a big white pretty looking fish bigger than the size of their palm which was very cutely following their fingers as they dragged it across the glass pane. I firmly directed their attention towards the smaller fish knowing very well that I was not ready for such a BIG responsibility. I made up my mind to find out everything on the net while at office the next day.

I went back to warn my better-half about the big white fish when I found him paying up for a BIG tank[well, much bigger than the glass bowl in mind] with all the amenties & 4 goldfish.

I panicked. I didn’t know anything about fish except for ofcourse how to eat them. Then the sales guy seeing a lucrative deal going downhill quickly stepped in, placed a Fish Manual in my hands & gave me a pep-talk about how ridiculously easy it was to maintain the fish tank. Ofcourse I didn’t fully believe him though I was sort of swayed. I then opened the fish manual to avoid eye-contact with this guy & the first picture I see is of a goldfish in a glass bowl & a RED X across it. It(the goldfish in the glass bowl ie.) can make an attractive centerpiece but keeping them in the bare and confined space of a bowl make them depressed, stunt their growth, prone to disease & kill them finally.

That decided it. Not glass bowl, no way....but then what. The kids will not budge from there without atleast 1 tiny fish. And no way was I going to put my fish in those tiny plastic tanks on display. If I was going to take responsibility for a fish, then I’m going to give him the best. That matter settled & I bowed to the inevitable.

So now we have a super looking aquarium with all the settings & 4 fish of the goldfish variety happily swimming around. The kids are thrilled & so am I. And the better-half has this very satisfied look about him.


















Why do I get the feeling that he got one of his secret ambitions fulfilled????

Ps:- Just incase anybody was offended about my reference to Chinese torture, please note that:
The Discovery Channel series MythBusters investigated Chinese water torture in the season 3 episode found that dripping water on the forehead, was not particularly stressful. And most importantly, there is no evidence that this form of torture was ever used by the Chinese.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Nailed

My friend Chaitra from college days has this habit of cutting her nails only on Tuesday. Once when she was in a very mellow mood she let me into the secret “You get money if you cut your nails on Tuesday”.
I laughed at her on the face.
“Try it & then come back & laugh at me” she said loftily.
Ofcourse I didn’t try it.

Ummm....I meant ofcourse I didn’t try it right away.

Well…you have to understand the situation.
Here is a close friend you share 9 hrs in a day for around 4 yrs[3 yrs in college & 1 yr at work(she got me my 1st job)]. Week after week, month after month….year after year she very prayerfully cuts her nails on Tuesdays. I mean…..She seems totally rational in every other matter “well maybe….just maybe, she knows something you don’t. Anyways you have to cut your nails off some day or the other, might as well cut it on a Tuesday, what’s the BIG DEAL…. you don’t lose money….u are supposed to be getting it” & so on…..my left brain battled it out with my right brain.

Ofcourse the crooked brain errr…I mean the left brain won. So one Tuesday I stealthily cut my nails & waited. And what do you know……….an old acquaintance who borrowed 180 rupees, SEARCHED me out & returned it.

Well ok…technically I didn’t get more money; I just got my own money back. But it was “The money” I had given up hope of ever getting back. Now when I think of it I feel, if I had got some money just like that, I may not been convinced so fast. But this was money which I never expected to get. I was sold.

After that day I try to time my version of manicure for Tuesdays. Ofcourse there have been many a tuesday when I forgot to. And ofcourse it was my loss though I never could prove it. And now you wonder whether it still works. And I tell you…. IT WORKS.

And before you ask, yeah I cut my nails yesterday. And before you ask again….if I didn’t, you can bet your last dirham I wouldn’t get my salary within this coming week.

So now how many of you are convinced???????????

p.s – Chaitra also says “Don’t wear new clothes on Saturdays. If you do, you don’t get to wear new clothes for the whole of the next year”

Thursday, 23 October 2008

So what’s the catch???????

I resigned from my present company around 3 weeks back. I didn’t at all want to resign. I was pressurized into it. Nope, its nothing like what you are thinking. Everybody in the company begs(in the manner of speaking) me to stay; the HO offered me a higher package in a bid to entice me to stay. I was all too willing but for my better-half.

Yeah I’m holding it against him. I’m so angry with him for doing this to me. The fact that he has valid reasons does not hold any water right now. I’m hopping mad. So why did I resign if I didn’t want to? The same reason why I always end up doing what he wants. I hate to admit it but his foresight is far superior to mine. It has always rescued us from tight situations & saved us a lot of heart-ache.

He told me to give my resignation with 1 months notice in August but I dug my heels in & told him all the reasons why I wanted to keep working.
His reasons were many but his explanation was simple “The children need you to be with them”. Heart of hearts I knew it too but then what about ME????

For more than 7 years I was a stay at home mother who kept house & looked after not only my kids but also my in-laws who stayed with us then. I patiently waited for my 2nd child to start school & only then went back to work. I compromised with the type of job I took, simply because of the close proximity of the office from my house. I enjoy my work but do admit that I suffer pangs of guilt when I think about the kids.

I raged, begged, cajoled in turn but he never budged from his decision. In the end I gave in mutinously around a month back(yeah, yeah I know he is right but what about ME???)

I put forward my own terms half hoping it will turn him off.

1. I want to work till the end of the year.
2. I want a broad band Internet connection at home(I 'almost' never go online when I’m at home, so we never felt the need to upgrade the Dial-up connection till today. YES I have written all my posts at work:-D).
3. I want Dhs.****.** pocket-money every month.

The 1st 2 terms he agreed to immediately. I half regretted why I didn’t say 6 months notice.
But he put his foot down on the pocket-money. He said he didn’t see the need to give me any. All the money which came into the house was OURS & that was it. I agreed with him but explained I needed separate cash coz I had a few plans up my sleeve which I was going to pursue if I was going to sit at home full-time & I needed the confidence that the money was mine to spend as I saw fit.

He looked slightly alarmed at the way my brains were working. Ofcourse he did not agree & so it has been going on until this past week.

Then suddenly around 4 days back he agreed…...just like that.

I stared at him slack-jawed waiting for the conditions which usually comes with these kind of deals.

“There is none” he assured me quite amused at my disbelief.

Recovering slightly, I insisted “Say I agree”

“I agree” he said gravely.

“No, not like that, say I agree to give you Dhs.****.** EVERY MONTH” I said staring into his eyes to grasp his intentions.

“I agree to give you Dhs.****.** every month” he repeated without hesitation.

I sat back in total surprise.

After 2 minutes of silence…..

“Say I agree to give you Dhs.****.** before the 5th of every month”

“I agree to give you Dhs.****.** before the 5th of every month” he said dutifully.

At a loss for words, I went into the bedroom to sit down & take stock of the whole situation.

Five minutes later, I entered the living room in a rush….

“Say I agree to give you Dhs.****.** before the 5th of every month & will not borrow it back 3 days later like how I usually do"

I agree to give you Dhs.****.** before the 5th of every month & will not borrow it back 3 days later like how I usually do” he chanted in merriment.

I just couldn’t take it in. I mean…what’s the catch. Long before also I had asked for pocket money like this & he hadn’t budged. What caused this sudden change of mind after all these years & that too in these past few days?????
…….
I woke him up from sleep 2 nights backs……

“Say I agree to give you Dhs.****.** before the 5th of every month, will not borrow it back 3 days later like how I usually do & will not ask you what u do with it”

I agree to give you Dhs.****.** before the 5th of every month, will not borrow it back 3 days later like I usually do & will not ask you what u do with it ” he repeated sleepily after me.

I’m still in shock. He NEVER commits to anything if he can. But if he does he keeps it 110%.

So what’s the catch??????????? What is it that I'm missing out here???

Where are all of u when I need u????????????

HELPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

in the line of Fire(d)

Last evening when I was about to leave office I received a call from one of our senior consultants regarding some issue. After arriving at a conclusion, we went on to wind up the conversation when he casually told me to expect a surprise by fax the next morning. Matching his tone, I asked him whether it was good news or bad news. He just laughed & said mysteriously “Depends on how you look at it” before cutting the line.

All the way to work this morning I wondered what it could be. Going by how the company procedures worked I was quite sure it couldn’t be good news. As soon as I reached I checked for faxes & ofcourse there were pages & pages of correspondence waiting. I walked towards my seat rifling thru the pages when the Marketing Manager called out a cheery Good Morning. At the same moment my eyes fell on a Termination Notice addressed to the Marketing Manager.

To say I was stunned was an understatement. I stood at my table & looked at him blankly. He peered thru the sandblasted glass partition & repeated “Good Morning Nancy”. I just walked across to his table & gave the sheet of paper to him. I stood there undecided as I watched him read it & re-read it. Slowly I backed out of the cabin, went to my chair & sat down.

I felt like the lowest of beings for being the one who gave him the bad news. All sorts of thoughts jumbled thru my mind…. It is not easy to get a job in Dubai especially when you’ve crossed the 40-45 mark. He had his whole family here….his wife didn’t work, his kids were still studying. He just had 30 days to find another job or leave the country.

We all knew his marketing record for the past 6 months was miserable. Business was at an alltime low & we needed new orders desperately. The past 2 months showed some orders trickling in but it came nowhere near the Dhs.500,000 mark, which was his target. The Head Office had already warned him twice before so I guess this time they resorted to drastic measures.

But how could they just FAX a termination letter….a person at the managerial level didn’t at all deserve this kind of treatment….no, scratch that, nobody deserves that kind of treatment.

The worst was when I first got my hands on the letter, read the subject…….just for a split second thought it was addressed to me.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Judge ye not.....

I take a deep breath, chew my lips unconsciously & fight the demons in my mind…..do I have to???? Should I reveal it or not????

This past 1 year, especially the last 6 months have been wonderful. It was a whole new world out here for me. I met so many wonderful people thru my blog, learnt so many new things, opened my mind to new fundas, lived it up a little, felt almost like a celebrity when my comments hit 30, preened a little whenever anybody wrote “Good Post” & then some more when somebody else posted “oh Nancy, this was hilarious”.

How do I tell you, how much this blog & all of u mean to me? Seriously, none of you have any idea of the intensity of my feelings……you may not believe, but I suffer from severe stage fright. I am the kinds who cannot walk into my own living room if there are more than 6-8 people sitting there. People are usually surprised to see my better-half serving tea & snacks when they come visiting. The truth is that the pressure of 8 pair of eyes watching me walk in, just makes me break into sweat and soon the teacups start delicately tinkling in their saucers.

According to friends, I come across as reserved & sort of snooty at first but soon the ice melts & they suffer the effects of global warming…….now they don’t know which is worse.

At home, I give the kids stiff competition for the "loudest, noisest, crankiest......."award. They have in me a mother who dances with them when they are bored but also a mother who doesn't hesitate to smack them when they decide to 'REALLY' act up.

Sitting in front of a computer screen, it is easier for me to be what I am……I can 'almost' effortlessly write positive, humorous posts about the neighbours or the transportation system but when it comes to baring my heart I still have a long way to go......like how sans merci mentions towards the end of her recent post about her apprehensions of being judged. She just put across feelings I was unable to express until today.

To put it simply......I'd hate for U to think badly of me.......now that we interact regularly & are like good friends in our blog world….

Anyways I better get to the point …….all this while, I’ve been mustering up courage to reveal something which will probably change the way you will view me.

At first, I thought I just won’t tell you….simple enough isn’t it???? But then I realized I owe u…….I’ll be guilty of leading you on. You more than anyone else have the right to know the truth

At the risk of losing what little credibility I have, I confess……

I was 22yrs old when I committed the act in “A Pinch of Salt

p.s: does it sound terrible:-(??????

Thursday, 9 October 2008

A Pinch of Salt

My mom had the habit of sleeping in front of the TV. Those were the days when good old Doordarshan was the only channel available[atleast in my house]. Every Friday they used to telecast a-not-so-very-old Hindi Movie which we would eagerly wait for. At 10.00pm sharp every Friday night, the 3 of us ie. my father, younger sister & I would plonk ourselves on the sofa & watch. My mother would try to finish all her works by 10.45 before joining us.

I don’t know why she even bothered to sit up because she would lean back against the sofa & almost immediately go to sleep. She would get up with a start, during the advertisement break or new-break & ask us what is happening with the story. In the beginning we used to tell her but soon we got tired & asked her why she bothered because as soon as the movie restarted she would go back to sleep. But she never listened. She would continue to sit with us till atleast 3/4th of the movie was over & then finally admit defeat & go off to bed.

One such Friday night, my father had gone off on an official tour & it was only the 3 of us on the sofa with my mother sitting in the middle. As usual, she slept halfway thru the movie. My sister & I grinned, at the sight of her leaning back & sleeping with her mouth slightly open.

An evil thought occurred to me. I went out of the room quietly, came back with the salt-shaker from the dining table & slowly shook the salt into her mouth. It was quite a difficult task but I managed somehow. My sister shook her head at me warningly but she also couldn’t help grinning at the sight. We then, sat back to watch the movie. As usual, when the advertisements came on, my mother got up with a start. Both of us sisters looked at her with expectantly. She coughed slightly, swallowed, jumped off the sofa & rushed to the wash-basin to spit out the salt.

How we laughed…..we held our stomachs & laughed. She came back like a bat out of hell & gave me the beating of my life with her bare hands......THULP, THULP, SLAP, BANG, DISHKYAAOO.
I was a sitting duck………never in my wildest dreams did I think she was going to react so violently otherwise I would have run for cover. It had been ages since she beat me last.

Thru the beating I heard her shouting furiously “It was ok if she put a pinch for a joke, she's emptied the whole bottle into my mouth”…..THWACK, DISHKYAAAOO.

“Sorry, sorry…….I didn’t realize…………OWWWW SORRY” I wailed thru my tears.

My sister sat there looking like she was in terrible pain, trying to control her expressions valiantly before before giving up & spilling into peals of laughter at my sorry state.

Now for the audience question in Doordarshan program style:
What do you think of the whole episode?
And how old do you think I was, when I committed this dastardly act?

Edited to add: Answer is posted in the next post;-P

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Taggetty Tagged

I have been tagged by Balvinder Singh to post any of my
FIVE ADDICTIONS. Since then, I have been breaking my head as to what my addictions are…..

Anyways, for the 1st one I didnt have to think very hard……

1. Once I put up a post I keep checking to see there are any comments. It’s fast becoming an addiction:-(

2. On week-ends I hate to make dinner. Is that an addiction? To find out if it was, I tried to imagine how I wd react if I had to cook on weekend nights….my mood changed immediately…the eyebrows lowered dangerously & I even stopped typing for a few minutes trying to control the urge to throw a chair across the room. The withdrawal symtoms were quite clear......yes, that decides it,…it is an addiction.

3. Arrrghhh....this is getting tough…..I don’t drink tea, coffee, alcohol, so what else..….oh yes I just remembered I have to have pepsi with biriyani & need to have ice-cream after the biriyani….ohhh yess it is an addiction.

4. Spider Solitaire was an addiction at one time. But once I cleared the difficult level, then the interest just cooled off. Ditto with Minesweeper. But this happens only with some games, all other stuff just don’t interest me to begin with.

5. Ummmm……..does opening the fridge, standing there looking into it & deciding what to make for dinner, be called an addiction coz I do that a lot.

I found this TAG quite difficult to do coz I had to think a lot for this one. Long back I wasn’t able to have coffee one evening & had a terrible headache. I didn’t like the idea of being addicted to anything & so quit the habit of coffee that day itself. I guess I don’t quite like the idea of being dependent too much on anything

The rest of the instructions..........
The persons who have been tagged have to link the blogger who tagged them and also extend the tag to five or more bloggers and link them too.

Now I tag......

Abraham Menacherry

DeeplyDip

Goofy Mumma

I scribble Here &

Shalom

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Adam Khoo

A Blog Post by Singapore's Youngest Millionaire Adam Khoo

Some of you may already know that I travel around the region pretty frequently, having to visit and conduct seminars at my offices in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Su Zhou(China).

I am in the airport almost every other week, so I get to bump into many people who have attended my seminars or have read my books.

Recently, someone came upto me on a plane to KL and looked rather shocked. He asked, 'How come a millionaire like you is travelling economy?' My reply was, 'That's why I am a millionaire.' He still looked pretty confused. This, again confirms that greatest lie ever told about wealth(which I wrote about in my latest book 'Secrets of Self Made Millionaires'). Many people have been brainwashed to think that millionaires have to wear Gucci, Hugo Boss, Rolex etc. (I shop at G2000 by the way) and sit on first class in air travel. This is why so many people never become rich because the moment they earn more money, they think that it is only natural that they spend more, putting them back to square one.

The truth is that most self-made millionaires(not those lucky who inherited money) are frugal and only spend on what is necessaryand of value. That is why they are able to accumulate and multiply their wealth so much faster. Over the last 7 years, I have saved about 80% of my income while today I save only about 60% (because I have my wife, motherin law, 2 maids, 2 kids, etc. to support). Still, it is way above most people who save 10% of their income (if they are lucky). I refuse to buy a first class ticket or to buy a $300 shirt because I think that it is a complete waste of money. However, I happily pay $1,300 to send my 2-year old daughter to Julia Gabriel Speech and Drama without thinking twice.

When I joined the YEO(Young Entrepreneur's Organization) a few years back (YEO is an exclusive club open to those who are under 40 and make over $1m a year in their own business) I discovered that those who were self-made, thought like me. Many of them with net worths well over $5m, travelled ecomony class and some even drove Toyota 's and Nissans. I noticed that it was only those who never had to work hard to build their own wealth (there were also a few ministers' and tycoons' sons in the club) who spent like there was no tomorrow. Somehow, when you did not have to build everything from scratch, you do not really value money. This is precisely the reason why a family's wealth (no matter how much) rarely lasts past the third generation. Thank god, my rich dad(oh no, I sound like Kiyosaki) foresaw this terrible possibility and refused to give me a cent to start my business.

Then some people ask me, 'What is the point in making so much money if you don't enjoy it?' The thing is that I don't really find happiness in buying branded clothes, jewelry or sitting first class. Even if buying something makes me happy, it is only for a while. It does not last. Material happiness never lasts, it just give you a quick fix. After a while you feel lousy again and have to buy the next thing which you think will make you happy. I always think that if you need material things to make you happy, then you live a pretty sad and unfulfilled life.
Instead, what makes ME happy is when I see my children laughing and playing and learning so fast. What makes me happy is when I see my companies and trainers reaching more and more people every year in so many more countries. What makes me really happy is when I read all the emails about how my books and seminars have touched and inspired someone's life. What makes me really happy is reading all your wonderful posts about how this BLOG is inspiring you. This happiness makes me feel really good for a long time, much much more than what a Rolex would do for me.

I think the point I want to put across is that happiness must come from doing your life's work(be in teaching, building homes, designing, trading, winning tournaments, etc.) and the money that comes is only a by-product.If you hate what you are doing and rely on the money you earn to make you happy by buying stuff, then I think that you are living a life no better than a prostitute.
___________________________________________________
p.s - I got this in my mail recently. Never heard of him before this. I checked out his website & other related articles. Everyone of them spoke positvely about him. He makes a lot of sense & whats more, all his fundas sound simple enough to follow.
What say???????????????????
For more information on Adam Khoo, click here

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Leap of Faith

There is an extra mattress in our bedroom which is used during weekends for the kids to bunk in as they have not yet adjusted to sleeping alone in the next room when the maid is not around.

Usually by the time I’m back from office the next day, the mattress is put back in its usual place, until the next weekend. Yesterday for some reason the mattress was not put back & was still there on the ground.

Everytime the kids walked past it they would take a flying leap into it & have some fun. I warned them against it & told them to go complete their homework. I then went to pick it up & put it back in its proper place. But as I stood in front of it there was this urge to just ……fall like a log on to it..….just like how the kids do.

I took a deep breath, put my hands straight up & tried to fall into the mattress without putting out my hands for support. But try as I might I couldn’t make myself fall. My body just refused to follow what my mind was instructing. I felt like the heroine in “Titanic” standing at the tip of the ship except that my hands were held straight up & no Leonardo DiCaprio to support me through my feat.

Leonardo DiCaprio reminded me of my Better-Half. On the other side of the curtain-drawn room, the object of my thoughts was catching a quick nap. On a sudden suspicion I went up to where he lay & peered closely. His eyes were half-open & he was watching the whole show very interestedly

“Can you do it?” I asked.

“Do what” asks he.

“Just fall like a log onto the mattress…without any support”

“Ofcourse” says he & gets up to show me.

He stands in front of the mattress & I look on worriedly.

“I don’t think you should do it, you already have a bad back….we don’t want to invite problems”

“Oh there’s nothing to this” scoffs husband. “Just stand & fall into it….like this” and he falls heavily into the mattress. He sits up & grins triumphantly.

“No, no, not like that, your knees bent a little & got the support” I insisted.

“No it didnt”

“Yes it did!!”

“Ok then, you show me” says he loftily.

So I stand once again in front of the mattress, hold my hands straight up & chant in my mind “if 89kgs can, 65kgs definitely can”……and let go.

Felt my heart plummet, as I crashed ungracefully into the mattress. Sat up with a whoop…… “Seee, see I did it, I did it!!!!!”

“Your hands came forward to support your fall” he noted.

“No it didnt”

“Yes it did”

“No it didnt” I insisted.

He just raised an eyebrow. “Maybe just a teeny-weeny bit” I agreed.

“I’ll try again” I said, getting off the mattress & standing in front of the mattress again. Another thought occurred & I asked him “Can you fall on your back??”

I immediately turned around & stood now with my back to the mattress & willed myself to fall backwards.

“It’s not that easy. You won’t be able to do it” said Husband.

“Wanna bet????” I challenged.

He didn’t say anything. I stood there for a few seconds with my hands up & realized I wouldn’t let myself fall. Falling on the front was difficult enough but falling on one’s back was impossible. Even the knowledge that there was a plump mattress behind to cushion my fall was not enough for me to let go.

“Mama, what are you doing” asked Nikita curiously.

Without my knowledge Nikita entered the room & was watching me standing with my hands held straight up, trying to muster courage to fall back.

“Oh Mama was just trying touch the ceiling” said Mama pulling back her hands quickly and led the child away from the room before she caught on.

When I came back, the mattress was kept back in its usual place by the Better-Half. I knew he didn’t want me trying any more stunts & inviting trouble & so kept it out of harm’s way. He looked at me expecting some comment.

I shrugged “I always wondered about how I'd react if I was asked to bunjee-jump or sky-dive. Atleast I’m sure now” grinning sheepishly at him.

The matter ended there but the question kept niggling me……

How do the kids do it…….without a second’s thought……………….so easily??????

Can you??????????????????????

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

S(tag)gered

I have been tagged by Myspace & Shalom.

Myspace, sorry I took so long to put this up and Shalom I was going to tag you with the same but u got to me first:-P.

The rules for the tag are:

RULE #1 People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

RULE #2 Tag 6 people to do this quiz and those who are tagged cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by continue this game by sending it to other people.

So here goes:

If your lover betrayed you, what will your reaction be?
Its his loss, not mine

If you can have a dream come true, what would it be.
As of now….to win a week’s stay at the Atlantis.

Whose butt would you like to kick?
My tailor……he just ruined a beautiful outfit of mine.

What would do with a billion dollars?
Give Half to Charity.

Will you fall in love with your best friend?
Nope, ghar ki murgi dal barabar[translated as: house's chicken dal similar]

Which is more blessed: loving someone or being loved by someone?
Ummmm.......loving someone who loves me

How long do you intend to wait for someone you love?
Ooooh tough question……ummm will give him a 24 hrs deadline

If the person you secretly like is attached, what will you do?
Make sure that he knows my feelings & leave the decision upto him.
[Now this is what I’d ideally like to do].

If you could root for one social cause, what would it be?
A roof over every head.

What takes you down the fastest?
A flying tackle.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Back in my own country

What’s your fear?
That there’s going to be a terrible earthquake & I have no time to pack the family jewels.

What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
myspace: Tongue-in-cheek humour(ous), short(I don’t know why I feel she is short like 5feet 1inch……are you short myspace???)
shalom: Person with strong sense of right & wrong. Her faith in God is awe-inspiring.

Would you rather be single and rich or married and poor?
Without a doubt Single & Rich, marriage will automatically follow:-D.

If you fall in love with two people simultaneously who will you pick?
The guy with the sense of humour.

Would you give all in a relationship?
Nope……….my toothbrush is my own.

Would you forgive and forget someone no matter how horrible a thing he has done?
Well I’m terribly forgetful………..so I dont get the chance to forgive.

Do you prefer being single or in a relationship?
Well, I'm already married, so dont start putting doubts into my head:-/

List of people to tag:
Agnes
Anjuli
Maddy
Mystery visitor from Birmingham(cant link u for obvious reasons:-P)
Onlooker
Wannabe
Winnie the Poohi

p.s -
@ Ish: I feel vaguely guilty that I havent tagged u but please note its becoz Renu has already done it.

@Bins: I dont feel guilty at all about not tagging u. Put up the previous 3 Tags before raising even an eyebrow at me:-/

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Post Blues

She stares at the computer screen blankly for 5 minutes, waiting for inspiration, lightening, anything…. to strike but not even a staple pin stirred. Exercising patience, she waits for some more time….nope, no luck.

She types out the sentence “She stares at the computer screen blankly for 5 minutes...” in apathy. Then, due to sheer lack of anything else to do she changes the font from Times New Roman to her all-time favourite font Verdana, & the font size to 10. Then she stares some more.

She can hear the Marketing Manager’s crunching on chips in the neighbouring cubicle. If she turns her head ever so slightly she can see him thru the glass partition. But who wants to see a Manager, anybody for that matter, stuffing their face?

She turns her head away in the other direction and her eyes fall on the designer who is yawning his head off at 10 ‘O’ clock in the morning looking like he is ready to wind up for the day. She controls the urge to yawn herself & looks pointedly away only to see the autoCAD draftsman trying to access the orkut page stealthily. Orkut is officially banned in the country she resides, however, can be accessed if one was aware of alternative ways to get it.

Almost everybody asks if she was accessible on Orkut. In the beginning she never felt bad about saying she wasn’t but lately she has taken to wondering whether she was missing something. Oh well, she’s got a profile on Facebook but what good was it if she never went there.

The cleaner walks in & salutes a cheery Good Morning. She responds with a smile, & watches him get down to work. Listlessly she turns back to her monitor, her smile disappearing. The partially blank document mocks her.

The Marketing Manager leaves for an appointment & almost immediately 80% of the workforce gravitate towards one corner of the office to read the paper, have coffee, catch up on eachothers lives. They beckon her to join the party.
“Gimme 2 minutes” she gestures.

The phone on her table rings. The Project Manager calls to inform the status of current going ons & also to entrust some work. She notes them all down in her handbook knowing that she better get to work immediately otherwise it will spill over her working hours. The thought of not accomplishing what she set out to do gnaws at her.

As the cursor hovers on the X button of the partially filled page, she straightens up in her seat slowly. Her eyes sharpen & a bent finger creeps towards her mouth unconsciously as her mind races “Dare she do it???????”

Dare she put this up in the guise of a new post??????????????

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Ode to a Woman!!!!!!!

'Whatever you give a woman, she's going to multiply.

If you give her a house, she'll give you a home.

If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal.

If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart.

If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby.

She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.

'So - if you give her crap, you will get a bucket full of shit.

Got this in my mail this morning. Had a big grin on my face for sometime:-D. I agree with the above totally.
So now the question is, who disagrees with this????????????????????

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Rat - A - Tat

Last morning, Better-Half asked me why I left the drain cap in the bathroom open.

I was like “Eeewwww, I didn’t open it”.

We then asked the maid & she said she never went anywhere near it for the past 2 days.
Thanks lady, for letting us know the germs are having a field day out there.
Anyways, we knew the kids didn’t do it.

Then how did it……..?????
Huh…all of us simultaneously looked at each other in horror….Rats!!!!!!!!!!!

It was not unknown for rats to turn up, though very rare. The last time one entered was 8-9 yrs ago but that time the parents were around & they had dealt with it.

A moment later we heard a noise from behind the bathroom door. Husband opened the door cautiously but the coast was clear. But…the drain was open again. The suspicion was confirmed. A rat stole in by pushing the drain cap upwards, landing onto the bathroom floor.

Well there was no time for high hysterics as we were already late for work so the drama was adjourned for the time being. Strictest instructions were given not to use that bathroom until further notice.

Later in the evening we found the drain cap out of place again. That did it. We cant live in fear for the rest for our lives, can we?

“I’ll call pest control” decides Husband.

“Ok” agrees the dutiful wife supportively. No way was I going to get involved with anything to do with rats. Leave the experts to deal with it.

“Pest-control???? What for???? I’m here….all my neighbours used to call me when they found a rat in their house” said maid indignantly as if we cast aspersions on her honour.

I looked at her with new found respect.

Now the Maid was in charge, the master of the house & I meekly followed her instructions.
The sticks supporting the plants were pulled out to beat the rat with.
Water was boiled to flush the rat out.
An old, rusted rat trap which was co-owned by everybody in the building was brought in.

The maid wanted to fix Tapioca as bait coz rats are supposed to love it.

I was like “Well no tapioca at home, lets fix a banana”

Nikita piped in “I have an idea….lets keep cheese”.

All 3 of us turned & looked blankly at her.

Nikita explains exasperatedly “Don’t you know…….they love cheese”.

“Quiet, go to the living room & stay there” instructed her father, irritated.

Maid still looked blank, went on to fix the banana inside the trap.

Meanwhile a conversation was happening animatedly 2 meters away…

“Good Idea, Chechi*, I’m sure it will come & eat the cheese” said Naina supporting her sister's idea.

“Then Papa can catch it & give it to us” responds Nikita.

“Yes, then he’ll be our pet & we’ll call him Jerry” continues Naina.

Husband & I exchanged exasperated looks & went back to helping the maid to prepare for war.

Finally armed with enough ammunition she set out…..I assured her my complete support & firmly shut the bathroom door on her from outside.

All was quiet for 5 minutes, then after much thrashing, again all was quiet. I cautiously opened the door & found the maid looking into the laundry basket & the aiming the stick carefully to fatally injure the rat.

“Wait” I cried. “Don’t kill the rat. Catch it alive & we’ll throw it out.”

Maid looked up confused.
In that split second the rat jumped out & escaped with its dear life back thru the drain-pipe which the maid had forgotten to block.
Maid was so upset…..she almost had it in the bag…in this case the laundry basket.
And the Husband looked murderously at me, his hands itching to do what he wanted to do to the rat.

“Ummmm…..I didn’t want my favourite laundry basket ruined” offered Nancy lamely.

Later as I was settling into sleep, I remembered something & grinned to myself.
Better-Half arched his eyebrows inquiringly.

In my daughter’s voice I repeated “I have an idea….lets keep cheese”.

We burst out laughing.

*Chechi – Elder sister in Malayalam